WEST POINT — The conservation nonprofit Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the city of West Point are slated to host a river paddle trip on the Chattahoochee followed by a music festival Saturday at the new downtown River Park.
The entry fee for solo boats is $20 and $30 for two-person boats. Students may receive a $5 discount. Paddle trip participants should pre-register at www.chattahoochee.org. Boats will not be provided, but kayaks and paddle boards may be rented from Outside World Outfitters of Columbus by calling 706-322-4200. Boat reservations should be made by Thursday.
Paddle trip participants can expect a leisurely two-hour paddle on flat water and the chance to explore a pristine and undeveloped stretch of the Chattahoochee River known as The Chattahoochee Valley Blueway Trail. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist paddlers. Passengers under the age of 5 will not be permitted and all participants must have life jackets.
Participants who rent a boat should meet at West Point’s River Park, 100 W. 7th St., near West Point City Hall, at 2 p.m. Personal vehicles may be left at the park and the city of West Point will provide a shuttle to Hardley Creek Park south of West Point Dam. The shuttle will run 2 to 3 p.m.
Participants with their own boats should meet at Hardley Creek Park at 2 p.m. To get to Hardley Creek Park from LaGrange, take West Point Road south and turn right on Resource Management Road headed to the West Point Dam. There will be a large stone sign reading “West Point Lake.” Follow Resource Management Road and cross over the dam. The entrance to Hardley Creek Park will be on the left immediately after crossing the dam.
Prior to the paddle, participants who bring a boat can drive to the downtown River Park, park their vehicle and return to Hardley Creek Park via the shuttle service. The paddle trip will begin at 3 p.m.
The festival will begin at 5 p.m. and feature music by Riley Yielding of Beulah, Alabama, The Men of Gospel of West Point and The Hillside Front Porch Collective of LaGrange. Barry Waldrep, Kelli Johnson and Friends will headline the performances at 7:30 p.m. The festival will also feature local artwork and food from nearby restaurants as the sun sets over the Chattahoochee River.
The festival is free and open to the public.
Anyone seeking more information should contact the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s regional outreach manager, Henry Jacobs, at [email protected] or 706-882-3701. Vender booths and sponsorship opportunities are available.
The event is sponsored by Interface, with additional support from the West Point Development Authority, Sewon America, Outside World Outfitters of Columbus, Hutchinson Traylor, Charter Bank and the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce.
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.